Helping Hedgehogs in Victoria Road


Hedgehogs released to our neighbourhood

Many residents have reported hedgehogs living in our gardens, and this neighbourhood has been assessed as suitable for a release site back into the wild for four of the 610 (!) hedgehogs that have been rescued by the Wildlife Hospital near Haddenham, near Thame.

Four healthy hedgehogs were released from 36 Harpes Road garden on Sunday 27th September. They have all dispersed to start their new lives. Many of us have made our gardens wildlife friendly, which is probably the reason why we are home to this population. A daily shallow bowl of fresh water would help them. They will be feeding on slugs and snails, but please see the guidance below on foodstuffs. Hedgehogs are nomadic and need about 12 gardens to roam, so if you are able to follow the guidance from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society below, it would help our new neighbours!

Website http://www.hedgehogstreet.org give the following hints:
Link your garden (a hole 13cm x 13cm, 5 inches square) in your fence or wall will enable the hedgehogs to get through. The website gives good guidance on making a small tunnel by the hole to make sure that your pets cannot escape.
Making your garden hedgehog friendly – just a small wild patch such as a pile of leaves, a log pile, or if you are keen special hedgehog houses are available.
Slug pellets – a hedgehog (or a song thrush) does not know which slug or snail has been poisoned, so the advice is not to use them. Hedgehogs are voracious slug eaters.
Feeding hedgehogs – a small bowl of meat-based cat or dog food is suitable, unsalted chopped or crushed peanuts, or special hedgehog food is available (bread and milk cause digestive upset so are no longer recommended). Hedgehogs, like all wildlife, need water so a shallow bowl of fresh water is important.
Garden hazards – wire netting (chicken wire) is a particular hazard, or garden ponds that have steep sides so that hedgehogs drown. Putting a ramp or a shallow slope of gravel means that the hedgehog can get out.
Fleas – the fleas that hedgehogs have are specific to them, and will not survive on either humans or pets.
We need to act fast to save hedgehogs, as the population has dropped 30% since 2002. There are now fewer than 1 million hedgehogs left in the UK, with an annual 5% decline, the same rate as the global rate of tigers.

If you have any questions, or would like to see examples of holes in fences, hedgehog homes and feeding stations, then you are welcome to contact Elaine Steane e.fullardsteane@googlemail.com or telephone 01865 552531, or Gretchen Seiffert gretchenseiffert@btinternet.com telephone 01865 553699.

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